Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): The Government Won’t Protect You
You cannot count on the government to protect you and your children from the dangers of genetically modified organisms. In the 1990s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claimed that GMOs are safe for consumption – yet they had done no studies on safety at all. And no wonder… the FDA official who created their GMO policy used to be the attorney and later the vice president of Monsanto, the largest biotech company out there.[i] Talk about bias!
The only requirement for a GMO to meet FDA standards is for it to be “substantially equivalent” to the natural food in its nutrition profile.[ii] This means that if GM soy has roughly the same amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, etc., as traditional soy, it is acceptable for human consumption. There is no mention in that protocol of it needing to be synthesized the same by the human body, or that side effects, like infertility or digestive problems, are forbidden (or even measured at all). Tests on GM products are not required, and when done, are done by the companies themselves and are kept secret, so that the true effects of these products are unknown unless examined by independent scientists.[iii] At the times when these tests have been, by court order, provided to independent scientists, they found that there were significant physical changes to test animals as a result of the GM diet, which the GMO companies nevertheless determined were “irrelevant” when it came to human consumption.[iv] When these scientists do undertake these tests, they are criticized by the companies, which do not want the truth about their products to be known.[v]
And there is no obligation for companies to label their products in the USA. The FDA has not approved any such regulation because the food companies are a powerful lobby. And even the “healthy” brands, such as Morningstar Farms, are opposing a GMO labeling law. This is because their products contain GMOs. In short, you cannot even make your own informed decision not to buy GMOs just by reading the labels on your favorite products. And don’t think you’ll be safe if you live outside the US or if you buy foreign products – the World Trade Organization (WTO) forbids governments to restrict the sale of GMOs because that would be an “unfair trade practice” or a “technical barrier to trade.” The WTO is no more concerned for your safety than the big companies are. Fortunately, in the European Union, GMOs are more highly regulated than in any other parts of the world.[vi] Even with their stricter review system, 49 GMOs have been approved, including 28 varieties of GMO corn, 7 GMO soybeans, 3 oilseed rapes (canola), and one sugarbeet.[vii] It is a good precedent that in Europe, unlike in America, foods containing GMOs at any point in their production must be labeled, even if the GMO cannot be detected in the end product.[viii] In Australia only unprocessed foods with a GMO as the main component need be labeled. (http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/labelling/Pages/default.aspx)
The only way to avoid eating genetically modified foods is to stop buying conventional processed foods unless they are labeled as GMO free. In the United States, over 80% of processed foods contain some form of GMO, including: rice, corn, wheat, soybeans, soy products, vegetable oil, soft drinks, dairy products, eggs, meat, chicken, pork, infant formula, and additives used across the board, such as in ice cream, margarine, tomato sauce, peanut butter, etc. Even the fruits and vegetables in your typical grocery store are not safe.[ix] For instance, a new type of apple was recently engineered so that it would not turn brown when it is bruised – you cannot even buy apples without them being genetically engineered.[x] The only safe option is to buy organic produce.
The behavior created as a result of eating genetically altered foods is not the kind of behavior you want to encourage in your kids. Nor are these the kind of side effects you want them to experience. GMOs are not better for your kids because scientists have messed with them – they’re worse. Any substance that can cause antisocial behavior, nervousness, anxiety, and increased stress is a type of poison. So stop feeding your children processed foods containing GMOs. GMOs are poison.
[i] See Part 2, Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Yes! Books, Fairfield, IA 2007.
[ii] Society of Toxicology. The safety of genetically modified foods produced through biotechnology. Toxicol. Sci. 2003; 71:2-8.
[iii] Spiroux de Vendômois J, Cellier D, et al. Debate on GMOs Health Risks after Statistical Findings in Regulatory Tests. Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(6):590-598. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.590.
[iv] Séralini GE, Mesnage R, Clair E. et al. Genetically modified crops consumption at large scale: possible negative health impacts due to holes in assessment. Environ Sci Pollut Res.
[v] Spiroux de Vendômois J, Cellier D, et al. Debate on GMOs Health Risks after Statistical Findings in Regulatory Tests. Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(6):590-598. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.590.
[vii] Staff EU register of genetically modified food and feed European Commission, Health and Consumers, EU register of authorised GMOs, available at http://ec.europa.eu/food/dyna/gm_register/index_en.cfm, Retrieved 32 February 2015
[viii] GMO Compass, New Labelling Laws: What Has Changed? Available at http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/regulation/labelling/93.new_labelling_laws_gm_products_eu.html; See also European Commission: Food, GM Food & Feed – Labelling, available at http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmfood/labelling_en.htm.
[ix] Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, Yes! Books, Fairfield, IA 2007.
[x] Pollack, A. “Gene-Altered Apples Get U.S. Approval” New York Times. Feb 13, 2015, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/14/business/gmo-apples-are-approved-for-growing-in-us.html; Tennille, Tracy (Feb 13, 2015). “First Genetically Modified Apple Approved for Sale in U.S.”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved Feb 2015, available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/first-genetically-modified-apple-approved-for-sale-in-u-s-1423863994